The Orlando Magic are amped to play their first preseason game Saturday in the brand-spanking-new Amway centre, located just a few blocks away from the old, decrepit Amway Arena. But despite their proximity, Amway centre and Amway Arena are very, very different. For starters, luxury suites have been moved from the upper reaches down to the lower bowl at Amway centre, making them far more appealing to companies looking to treat clients and employees. Amway centre is roughly three times the size of Amway Arena and also features wine and beer bars, restaurants, a nightclub, and 38 restrooms, compared to just eight at Amway Arena.
The appeal of the new arena is evident at the ticket windows. The Magic have already sold 14,000 season packages, the most in their history, and all of their luxury suites. Magic execs also think their new building could make them much more attractive to free agents.
“When you’re in Orlando, a very attractive market to a player and in a market like this, that’s a recruiting tool when you need it,” Magic CEO Bob Vander Weide said. “I’m not going to be naive about it.”
The $480 million facility was mostly publicly-funded, but the Magic did contribute $100 million and built five public gyms for the city.
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